Columns

Danger from the summer meteors

Danger from the summer meteors

When we reach the nights of August 11 and 12, we will see a meteor every two minutes or so, especially if we’re away from the lights of town. But there’s a secret sinister untold story behind these lovely shooting stars. It involves their origins.

Watch for the light

Watch for the light

This worldwide ailment has many of us climbing the walls. There’s a general feeling of restlessness. My children watch me like a hawk, and I get daily warnings about the dangers that lurk beyond my property boundaries.

Fossils of the Catskill Sea

Fossils of the Catskill Sea

Illustrations from a nineteenth-century geology textbook show typical marine shellfish fossils of Devonian age, a time period running from 419 to 369 million years ago. That’s the age of almost all the rocks here in the Catskills. Those fossils speak to geologists of a time when all of our region lay beneath the waves of a shallow sea, sometimes called the Catskill Sea.

The evening star at its very best

The evening star at its very best

This week, Venus has reached its greatest separation from the sun while standing high above where the sun set. These are rare perfect conditions that make Venus appear as high up as is ever possible. But on top of that, Venus is also at its most brilliant.

In quest of a true spectacle

In quest of a true spectacle

We all enjoy sky-spectacles, and especially those that do not require a telescope. Some are not too frustratingly rare, such as brilliant meteors and rainbows. And we can greatly increase the odds of seeing these if we know when they’re most likely.

Night Sky: The amazing Seven Sisters

Night Sky: The amazing Seven Sisters

Who hasn’t heard of the Seven Sisters,also known as the Pleiades? It’s the most beautiful star cluster and the most famous. It’s obvious to the naked eye and stunning through binoculars, and these nights it’s unusually easy to find.